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Last Winter Lettuce

I went outside today and picked what will likely be the last of the mesclun mix lettuce still growing under cover in our mini greenhouse or cold frame. While the lettuce has survived several nights of below zero temperatures (including one -5C night) it is not growing. I was expecting to harvest lettuce further into the winter so planted one half of the cold frame in September and one half in October. The seedlings that germinated from the October planting look healthy but are still very tiny. I don’t know if it is lack of heat or not enough sun (we have experienced a very dreary fall) but there has been no sign of leaf growth in about a month. The lesson for next year? Plant the entire cold frame in lettuce in mid-September. This should give us more for picking, weather permitting, well into January. I am lucky to still have spinach and kale under cover in the main garden. We will see how long that will last. It’s too bad though that we won’t have a fresh picked salad for Christmas day.

In the meantime, I will leave the small seedlings and continue to water them for as long as they survive. It will be interesting to see how cold tolerant our little greenhouse cover is as a test for next year. Plus if they make it though the winter we may have lettuce really early next season!

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